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Johan Wevers
Thu Aug 23 13:59:01 2001

You, Werner Koch, wrote:

>> A negligible chance IMO. Probably just as negligible that Ascom would go
>> after private users of IDEA who also use it for their buissiness mails.

> BTW, ascoms also requires a license from you if you use therei
> algorithm on a machine which you also youse for business. And
> buisiness is a lot for them: even voluntary work for a charity.
Yes, that is what they state formally. But have they ever actually sued? There are many examples where companies claim all kinds of rights just in case they would want to sue once, but where they in practice never do.
> There are lot of cases where companies changed their conditions
> (either by making their software free or by not using the GPLed parts
> anymore). It is obvious that their lawyers told them that they won't
> have a chance in court.
Or advising them that winning in court (especially in the US) is more expensive than writing their own implementation of GPL software.
> The FSF does not publish these cases for good reasons.
What are those good reasons if I may ask?
> However, one cae is well known: NeXT used gcc to build their
> Objective-C compiler thereby infringing the GPL - eventually they made
> the Obj-C fronted free and furthermore assigned it to the FSF.
Was this decided in court, or only a negotiated agreement? I'm a bit persistent in this matter because I have read a long discussion on a Dutch law- and programming usenet group about the validity of some implications of the GPL. For example, the legality of someone not being allowed to link a closed source program against a GPL library was very much disputed.
>> On a personal note, I agree with you that copyrights are wrong. But using
>> the same copyright law to ensure open source is IMO only one of the possible
>> actions to take to undermine it. Constantly breaking it and getting away
>> with it is another way to show the futility of the current copyright laws.

> You might want to ask Dimitri on his opinion about such attempts ;-)
Well, if I lived in a country run by copyright extremists I probably would not do it so openly. But fortunately in The Netherlands I could safely put DeCSS on my site without anyone even complaining. -- ir. J.C.A. Wevers // Physics and science fiction site: // PGP/GPG public keys at